My first business was the quintessential lemonade stand. I recruited my little brother, made a disaster of my mother’s kitchen with the lemonade mix, and gave away half of our cups to our customers! The next week, we (I) decided to up our lemonade game with some mature, classy touches. I made a newspaper so all of our customers could catch up on all the news on Villa Road, and we doubled the sugar in the lemonade mix. We still forgot about disposable cups, but thankfully most of our neighbors had brought back the cups from our last lemonade stand!
I have had a few other highly ingenious and wildly successful businesses through my childhood and even through my teen and college years. When my husband and I started dating, we talked constantly of business ideas. Some were so silly, and some were so great that they made some people with more vision than us very happy! After college, we shelved the idea of starting and owning businesses, we didn’t feel that we had time while working and grinding in our twenties and early thirties. Between working a more-than-full-time job, remodeling our home, getting a Masters, and basically life, I never thought I would be able to branch out and be my own boss. We still would circle back to business ideas though, most of the time when sitting on our deck and relaxing with an after-work cocktail.
When we moved to Texas in 2015, it was a chance for us to evaluate our goals and recalibrate. I had decided to take a break from teaching at that point, so I had some space and distance to look at the What Next. After a summer of reading by the pool, I decided to head back to work. There were many jobs in different areas that I applied for, and had an interest in, but one job offer in particular was a catalyst for me.
I had been offered a position as a principal of a private early childhood school, and I was very excited about the prospect of moving into administration. I envisioned more freedom, less restriction, and more leadership opportunities. These were some of the very things I was missing in my teaching career, so it was a perfect fit. However upon closer look, I saw that this job would not actually solve some of my biggest pain points as a teacher. Long commute. Even longer hours. More regulations. It was a different side of the same coin.
I found two opportunities at almost that exact moment that solved many of the problems in my previous job, and also the issues at not currently having my own career. I started my own business at home, and also became a private tutor with some fantastic families. I also started this fun blog, I love to write but had not made time to write for fun in years. (PSA: writing for a Masters thesis is not fun, contrary to popular belief.)
After an article I wrote went crazy viral
I gained the insight to know that I could be successful. I could take the skills and experience from all the years of teaching, and apply that as a small business owner! The fact that I can change careers and decide what is on my schedule, is incredible. I can see how having a side business alongside a full time career, especially teaching, is a huge benefit, as did Forbes in this article,
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” I have often quoted this from JFK and absolutely know that this is as true on the water as it is with energy in our lives. Working on a passion project or starting a side business, can increase the ways you make an impact in the world, and in turn your income as well.
I can’t fix all of the world’s problems, but I will do what I can to make a difference where I can. Sis, so can you.